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Old 04-18-2012, 05:36 PM   #41
Twix
Accidental DIY'er
 
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Houston
Posts: 17
1. New computer recommendation

Recommending computers is always a risky business. The life of a computer, in large part, depends on how it is being used and how people take care of them.

That being said, I almost always recommend ASUS computers. Typically you just get more bang for your buck and they are the only computers that have never given me any trouble. Your mileage may vary.

They used to own the lower priced laptop market but have since gotten a boost in popularity and decided to up their entry price a bit. HP will give you a similar spec laptop for the same price or even less in some cases but I would never recommend HP's lower end laptops. I can't tell you how many Dell laptops I have seen crash and burn as well. I hold a deep and dark hatred of Dell. ASUS is just better built IMHO and worth the extra 40 or so bucks.

I have heard many stories recently of some great deals on Dell laptops and how Dell restructured and is now top quality. I still won't risk it.

HP desktops are alright but ASUS still has them beat. Here is a quick compare on an entry level HP and ASUS.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+E...&skuId=3558048

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+Pav...&skuId=4957833

Same price but the ASUS has better a faster processor, a better network card, digital card reader, HDMI output, and more expansion slots. They both have 6 USB 2.0 slots but the ASUS also 2 USB 3.0 slots so it's a little more "future proof"

From what I have seen, the trend continues on up into the higher price machines.

As per usual, shop around and take a good look at the machines in your price range but make sure to check out everything (like the things listed above) and not just the speed and hard drive space. Also, never ever listen to the box store employees.

2. 100 bucks to get rid of extra no good software

This is not technically a scam but just a money grab. There are pieces of software out there to get rid of that stuff for free. I have heard good things about PC Decrapifier (http://pcdecrapifier.com) but I have never tried it.

I usually just uninstall everything myself or do a complete factory restore (from the disk they give you with your system) right off the bat. Those programs are usually not on that disk.

The only thing that can be tricky to get rid of is the expensive antivirus stuff.

3. Good free software.

AVG is the standard for free Antivirus and is what I use. I have had a few issues but nothing too damaging. I have kids that use the computer at home and get fooled by the "Your computer has a virus" pop ups from time to time and there is really not a program that can fix that.

Crap Cleaner or "CCleaner" is really slick. It basically cleans out history and temp junk. I use it every day. http://www.piriform.com/

Spybot Search and Destroy is also essential. I don't use the antivirus part of it but do run it about once a month to make sure there is no spyware lurking in the background. Nothing against the antivirus part, I have just always relied on AVG.

4. Operating system

Windows 7 is the best Windows yet. It even has the famed XP beat in my opinion.

The other open source stuff is great but you will be left out of some programs that can not run on it.

Windows 8 is just around the corner and from what I hear, it might be the worst thing that has ever happened to computers. I really hope it's good but will stick with Win 7 for a while.
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Jeff

Last edited by Twix; 04-18-2012 at 05:42 PM.
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